Are (Lack of) Results Due to the Salesperson or the Company?


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I’ll open with a baseball analogy. The Boston Red Sox traded Kevin Yukilis, a disgruntled, under performing, 3-time all-star, to the Chicago White Sox AND the Red Sox paid most of his remaining 2012 salary. In return they received a couple of unspectacular spare parts. That was a few weeks ago. What has happened since? Yukilis has reverted to form and has quickly become a fan favorite in Chicago. The Red Sox have continued to lose games and under perform. So the question is, was it Yukilis or the team that caused him, and just about everyone not named David Ortiz, to under perform this year?

Now the sales connection. Whether your salespeople are under performing or doing well, are they responsible or is it your company, culture, advertising or offering that is responsible?

Using data from the 600,000 plus salespeople and sales managers that OMG has assessed, we know that the salespeople working for industry leaders do well because of their company’s reputation, advertising and their offerings. We know that in underdog companies (pricier than competition, high-ticket, new company, new technology, story to tell, pioneer, etc.) when salespeople are under performing it is usually because of the salespeople, not the company.

Sales is not like other roles. A salesperson’s performance in a role at one company does not necessarily translate to success in a different role or at another company much like certain baseball players don’t perform well in the Boston or New York markets, despite having the ability to perform at a high level for smaller market teams.

As selling continues to grow more challenging, companies must make dramatic improvements at sales selection and sales development. Specifically, sales leaders at all levels must follow best practices for the sales selection process, on boarding, and ongoing development. OMG’s data also shows that 86% of all sales managers don’t perform any of those three roles very well.

When sales managers are ineffective at selecting the right salespeople, they compound the problem by being equally ineffective at coaching – the foundation of ongoing development.

Training salespeople is nice, but a waste of time and money when the wrong salespeople are trained and sales managers aren’t prepared to coach to and hold salespeople accountable to the training.

It’s time to fix these problems, not turn a blind eye.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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